R6, The Middle Brother
Born in 1999, the R6 was the world’s first 600cc mass produced motorbike to produce over 100hp in stock form. The R6 was designed as a street version of the YZF600R and as a little brother to the R1. The R6 contained a completely new engine that could produce 108hp straight out of the box.
Since then, the R6 fairings have had several upgrades, usually most of these were cosmetic in an annual update to the colour schemes, but in 2003, the R6 saw the addition of a fuel injection system to blast it into the 21st century. In 2006 the R6 gained a new deltabox frame and engine management system and in 2008 it was gifted a new air intake system that could change its length to optimize power at high rpm. The newest model saw an increase in hp from the original 108hp to a whopping 122hp.
With a top speed of around 170mph the R6 is no slouch, although not as fast as his big brother, the R1, with a top speed of almost 200mph. The R6 has more than enough power to scare the average person and the acceleration to match with a scary 0-60mph in 3.7s and 0-100mph in 6.5s.
The R6s top end performance is one of the high points of this bike. With a constantly updated fuel injection system and similar injection systems to the R1, the mid range has also been improved over the years. In the newer models the fuel tank has been reduced in size from 18l to 17.3l to save weight, in addition to a new subframe made of magnesium alloy to drop the weight by 450g. However, the addition of the new air intake system meant that the overall weight of the bike has not changed. The newer models also see better reliability due to the fuel injection system as opposed to the older models and there has also been an increase in stiffness around the headstock. This, along with a heavier braced swingarm has meant the bike is more stable, but still retains its quick steering ability. The suspension has also been revised and is one of the best mass-produced systems on the market. Since the bike was born to the present day the ride has not changed much, however it is noticeably improved at high speeds due to the upgrades over the years.
The advantage of the R6 is its resale value. As the R6 fairings shapes have not changed massively over the years the older bikes still don’t seem outdated. This and little change to the performance has meant that the resale value of older bikes is still holding strong. As with the rest of the YZF-R range the resale value on these bikes means that you don’t need to worry about your bike plummeting in value. The little change also means your older bike can still look good, even when placed up against the newest models.
Overall, the R6 is arguably the best 600cc super sport bike around today. It has the history and reliability of the well known Yamaha brand, and as it’s once of the fastest 600s around, even at stock, it will never disappoint and will always leave you with a smile on your face. Especially if you keep it above 10,000 rpm.